Edinburgh’s ‘Flying Dutchman’ Tim Visser has been looking over his shoulder all season at Dragons wing Aled Brew.
While last year’s Magners League ‘Young Player of the Season’ was able to bag the tournament’s try record with his 13th touchdown of the season against Aironi in Round 20, he knew Brew wasn’t far behind on 10 scores of his own.
But the 23-year-old revealed to David Fergason, the highly respected rugby correspondent of The Scotsman, that it wasn’t so much his rivalry with Brew that had pushed him to new heights this season, but a battle with his younger brother Sep.
The family battle lines were drawn before the season started – whoever scored the fewest league tries would have to streak up the Royal Mile in Edinburgh!
“I’ve had a bit of a race going on with Sep, who has scored 21 tries for Tynedale. The loser was to streak up the Royal Mile, but I don't think that is going to happen!” said Visser.
“I wasn’t banking on him getting to 21, but I was really chuffed to get the Magners League record. But I wasn’t able to smile much because I knew I was still a fair way behind Sep.
“As soon as I got back to the dressing room after the Aironi match there was a text from him, and my dad, reminding me of the total. It wasn’t a good moment!”
If Visser is failing to keep up with his brother, everyone else in the Magners League is struggling to catch him. Having topped the try charts with 10 in his debut season, he has beaten that in his second as well as eclipsing Jamie Robinson and Kevin Morgan’s all-time record of 12 tries in a season.
His try against the Dragons in Round 21 made it 24 in 38 Magners League outings for Edinburgh, including 14 in 20 starts this season. While Tommy Bowe is looking to become the first player to score 50 Magners League tries – he has 44 in 108 appearances over eight years for Ulster and the Ospreys – Visser is almost halfway there in two campaigns.
“It was a great honour to get the record because it had stood for so long. It's great to get it in only my second season in the Magners League and it has brought some good feeling to what has been a disappointing season otherwise,” added Visser.
“Edinburgh’s slump in form hasn't really hampered me and it is the style of rugby we play that has allowed me to score so many tries. The fact we haven't been so successful up front this season has also probably helped me, because we are inclined to throw the ball about a bit more when we are struggling up front.”
Tim Visser made the Magners League Dream Team once again
Visser will be sitting out the summer while he waits to complete his final year of residency before qualifying to play for Scotland in 2012. Not that he will be resting on his laurels as he tries to finds ways to further improve his game.
“I wasn't in great physical shape when I joined Edinburgh from Newcastle. So Andy Boyd put me through my paces and I've come on a lot – much of what comes out on the pitch is credit to him,” said Visser.
“Defence has been one of the weak parts of my game too, but Nick Scrivener has done a lot of work with me and it is getting better. I've obviously got quite a long way to go, but the improvement is there at least.”
If Visser continues to improve at his rapid rate then expect more record breaking efforts from the former Falcon in future Magners League seasons.